Bjorn Quenemoen and Jamie O’Shea, former roommates at Bard College, experimented with using sunlight to pop corn kernels. Six years ago they launched BjornQorn, using curved mirrors to blast sunlight onto popcorn kettles. The sun generated enough heat to explode the kernels. Quenemoen grew up on a Minnesota corn farm and O’Shea, a constant tinkerer and inventor, developed the system. They use corn grown on Quenemoen’s family farm and from fields in New York’s Hudson Valley. Fans clamored for the popcorn, and demand led the partners to increase production, and now they use a solar-electric facility, where solar panels heat the kettles. The popped corn is dusted with salt and nutritional yeast, and the result is exceptionally tasty. Vegan and gluten-free, the healthy snack straddles buttery, cheesy, and nutty, without butter or a cheese powder (about $6.50 for 3 ounces). Don’t be surprised if you nibble away till the bag is empty. Available at Eataly, 800 Boylston St., Boston, 617-807-7300; Curds & Co., 288 Washington St., Brookline,, 617-879-0565; Brothers Marketplace locations, or go to www.bjornqorn.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.